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Keywords:

  • glucose tolerance;
  • insulin sensitivity;
  • long sleep;
  • older adults;
  • sleep deprivation;
  • sleep restriction

Summary

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of 8 weeks of moderate restriction of time in bed (TIB) on glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in healthy older self-reported long sleepers. Forty-two older adults (ages 50–70 years) who reported average sleep durations of ≥8.5 h per night were assessed. Following a 2-week baseline, participants were randomly assigned to two 8-week treatments: either (i) TIB restriction (n = 22), which involved following a fixed sleep schedule in which time in bed was reduced by 90 min compared with baseline; (ii) a control (n = 18), which involved following a fixed sleep schedule but no imposed change of TIB. Sleep was monitored continuously via wrist actigraphy recordings, supplemented with a daily diary. Glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity were assessed before and following the treatments. Compared with the control treatment, TIB restriction resulted in a significantly greater reduction of nocturnal TIB (1.39 ± 0.40 h versus 0.14 ± 0.26 h), nocturnal total sleep time (TST) (1.03 ± 0.53 h versus 0.40 ± 0.42 h), and 24-h TST (1.03 ± 0.53 h versus 0.33 ± 0.43 h) from baseline values. However, no significant effect of TIB restriction was found for glucose tolerance or insulin sensitivity. These results suggest that healthy older long sleepers can tolerate 8 weeks of moderate TIB restriction without impairments in glucose tolerance or insulin sensitivity.